Wed, Feb 15, 2012 - Page 1 News List

Officialdom seeks ways to honor the late Fong Fei-fei

Staff writer, with CNA

Premier Sean Chen (陳冲) yesterday said he would ask the Government Information Office to decide whether to honor the late pop diva Fong Fei-fei (鳳飛飛) with a citation or come up with another way to recognize her contributions to Taiwanese pop culture.

Chen, who grew up to Fong’s songs, said many of her classics had been by his side throughout his life, from his school days to later when he was working and during his leisure time.

Fong’s death from lung cancer in Hong Kong on Jan. 3 was belatedly announced on Monday. Her lawyer said he had complied with the singer’s wishes, since she did not want to interfere with the festive Lunar New Year celebrations, which began on Jan. 23.

The 58-year-old singer, who had a prolific career, left a host of classic songs behind, including I’m a Cloud (我是一片雲), When I Hear Your Applause (掌聲響起) and Chasing Dreams (奇妙的夢想).

Government Information Office Minister Philip Yang (楊永明) said his office had contacted people in music and entertainment circles and promised full support if they wanted to stage memorial events for Fong.

Staff at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport said they admired the singer’s posthumous low-key style.

They said that when Fong’s son brought his mother’s ashes back to Taiwan from Hong Kong on Saturday, no one noticed because Fong’s real name was Lin Chiu-luan (林秋鸞).

One airport worker said she was sad and surprised, but also lauded Fong for having been so considerate to others and for not wanting to disturb them even after her death.

Even Fong’s brother and many of her relatives in Taipei and her birthplace, Dasi Township (大溪) in Taoyuan County, did not know of her death until Monday.

The mayor of Dasi Township said he hoped to apply to the Taoyuan County Government to set up a “Fong Fei-fei Memorial Hall.”

The Dasi Township Office had originally planned to invite Fong to serve as a spokesperson in a contest sponsored by the Tourism Bureau to choose Taiwan’s 10 top tourist towns and her death came as a shock.

Many of Fong’s fans yesterday flocked to the temple where Fong’s ashes are being kept to pay their respects, with some weeping.

Taoyuan County Commissioner Wu Chih-yang (吳志揚) said Fong was an unforgettable star and her choice of Dasi as her resting place showed her attachment to her birthplace.

Wu said he would organize a memorial concert for Fong and erect a statue of her in a town park, and he would also work with Fong’s family members and the Dasi Township Office to promote a “Fong Fei-fei Memorial Park,” so that the singer known for her signature hats could be with her family, fans and friends in various forms.

However, he said that Fong’s family members have yet to express their wishes.

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